Mechanical ventilation is a key part of providing critical care. Over the last 10-20 years, the knowledge and practice of clinical care has been increasingly taken up by respiratory therapists, with much success. While RT’s provide an excellent service, in some ways it has disconnected the role of physicians, and by virtue of this, their (non-theoretical) skill. While education on mechanical ventilation still happens in critical care, there is less time and attention towards physical practice or simulation.

We would like to highlight that this problem is not unique to the CCM residency training program at UofA, but we are in a very good place to correct it. We have outstanding clinically oriented faculty and outstanding respiratory therapy educators with a breadth of expertise. We want to harness this to improve mechanical ventilation teaching.

In this tutorial and associated workshop, we hope to build a solid foundation of mechanical ventilation education for critical care physicians in training. As this is the first time this workshop will be run, please give us plenty of feedback on how we improve.

Learning outcomes

At the conclusion of this mechanical ventilation tutorial and associated workshop, you should be able to:

  • Describe basic principles of airway anatomy and physiology, including how the equation of motion pertains to mechanical ventilation.
  • Initiate mechanical ventilation on a freshly intubated patient or use of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation.
  • Compare and contrast different basic and advanced modes of mechanical ventilation and their applications.
  • Characterize rescue strategies for refractory hypoxemia and the patient who is failing mechanical ventilation.
  • Compare and contrast different causes of weaning failure, including cardiac, pulmonary, and neuro-muscular.